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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  August 8, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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this this sunday, america's credit rating is downgraded for the first time ever. it's washington dysfunction that is said to drive the decision. it comes after a volatile week on wall street, with the dow plunge morgue than 500 points in a thursday selloff. drove the decision. the dow fell more than 500 points in a thursday sell-off. the big question now, are we headed toward another recession? america's out look as the jobs report beats expectations, but unemployment is still above 9%. >> what i want america to know is this, we are going get through this. things will get better. >> analysis from what it means
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from austan goolsbee. his last day advising the president was friday. forman chairman of the federal reserve, alan greenspan. and the rest of the panel, the focus? with the economy the way it is, how will it affect the race for the white house. >> with us, msnbcs rachel maddow and alex castellanos. first, the washington debate over jobs, growth and the economy. what can government do? the toxic debt debate, does america trust their leaders to make the tough choices ahead? with us, two former presidential nominees for their party, senator john kerry, democrat of massachusetts and senator john mccain, republican of arizona. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good morning. all eyes will be on the stock market tomorrow after the s&ps downgrade for america's credit rating. the ratings agency called the outlook negative signaling another downgrade is possible in 12 to 18 months. the white house and treasury is critical of the move. this weekend, the nation is coming to grips with another story. the horrific loss of u.s. soldiers in afghanistan. saturday, insurgents shot down american helicopters killing 30 u.s. soldiers, some from the special s.e.a.l.s trip that killed bin laden months ago. this was the single deadliest day of the war. the rising u.s. death toll comes as the administration announces
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a withdrawal timetable and the strategy to end the longest running war in our country's history. joining us now, john kerry. senator kerry, good to have you. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, david. good to be here. >> when you see news like this, when you hear of the loss of life among our soldiers, is your reaction what are we still doing here or is it are we doing everything we need to do to beat al qaeda, not the taliban? >> my first reaction, david, and i'm sure john mccain is at an extraordinary sense of loss and sense of gratitude for their quality of sacrifice and service. our hearts go out to their families. i think john and i join every american as if we have lost a member of our family. the first thought is sadness and
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sorrow for the loss. john and i, and i think many others believe we are in a transition in afghanistan. the effort that they have making there is one that is important to our national security in this transition. there were seven afghans there, members of the commando force. it's part of the transition taking place. i think we have to find out exactly what happened. i'm going to be very interested to see who might have been involved in this and what the linkage might be. it's something we need to check out carefully. it's really a loss for the country. >> let me put it in some context and ask a question that has to come to mind. a sense of where as we put it on the map. this is in wardak province. it's become a lot safer. when i was with general petraeus last summer, they had success
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with security and political advance as well. "the new york times" put some of the context this way. i'll put it on the screen. saturday's attack came as a surge of violence, the beginning of a drawdown of nato troops. american soldiers had recently turned over the sole combat to afghan. it posed the kind of problems the military faced last year in remote areas forcing commanders to weigh the value given the cost of soldiers lives where the insurgents are local residents. the dilemma is if nato military forces do not stay, the area is slipped back under taliban influence if not out right control and the security forces do not yet have the ability to rout them.
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what are we leaving behind? >> well, that's up for grabs, obviously. that is what this is about. nobody is surprised by the sec tack lar attacks. it's very much in the pattern of what the taliban has left, partly because we have been successful. our military efforts, with isap and our own forces have been extraordinarily successful and created less space for the taliban to operate in. they chose to attack in kabul, to take on this kind of event. that doesn't represent their strength across the country. there's a broad struggle for power in afghanistan. between karzai's folks and others. the network based in pakistan and pakistan's influence is significant. that's why the administration is putting huge effort now into the
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reconciliation process. the pakistani's, the iranians, russians, chinese, all these countries can be critical in this, including india. we need a regional approach. we need to try to find that political solution that everybody has said from the get go is the only way to resolve what is happening there. our presence must continue to diminish to the point we can protect our security interests as we go forward. we are not getting out completely. we are reducing the level to a point that i think has the ability to prevent the taliban from taking over the country. >> this is part of the debate in america and the rest of the world. now, the other big news that markets are going to be reacting to tomorrow, that is the downgrade of america's credit rating. standard and poor released a
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report. the political brinksmanship of recent months highlights where we see as america's governance and the debt ceiling and threat of default are bargaining chips. despite the wide ranging debate, the differences between political parties are extraordinarily difficult to bridge. is this a wake-up call to washington? >> well, it's a partial wake-up call. i believe this is, without question, the tea party downgrade. this is the tea party downgrade because a minority of people in the house of representatives countered the will of many republicans in the united states senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal, to do $4.7 trillion, $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and reforms in social security, medicare, medicaid and realize we needed revenue. i think this is one of the most
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telling, important moments in our country's history right now. we have had a fairly straight forward economic road throughout the 20th century. now, david, this poses a set of choices not just about a recession. it's about a financial crisis and structure of our economy, which really has been misallocating capital. we have an enormous amount of capital going into arbitration, not making jobs. we can deal with the short term debt, it's the long term debt measured against the demographics of our nation. that opposed to the lack of jobs and job creation and growth. that's our problem, structural. what we need is a washington that stops this bickering. get rid of the hard positions that i noticed even in speaker
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boehner's comments about the downgrade, politicizing and blaming it on the democrats. barack obama put a $4.7 trillion deal on the table. three times he was refused the deal. there were some people in the republican party who wanted to default. he said there were people in the party willing to shoot the hostage. in the end, they found the hostage was worth ransoming. it's not about ransom. it's about our nation, our country, statesmanship. i know john mccain and many of his colleagues in the senate are willing to sit down and be serious about how to deal with this quickly. our nation's security and future is at stake. >> the political debate about the viability of our system right now because of the entrenched interests and disagreements gives way to a more pressing problem. if you look at the unemployment
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numbers, we'll put a number above that. the unemployment in october, 2009, it's stubbornly at 9%. bottom line is, what is a growth plan for washington that washington can actually execute on? >> i'll give you a gross plan very clearly. one, we have to deal with the debt and deficit. send wall street a message that the united states of america is deadly serious about dealing with the long-term structural debt. that means putting a plan on the table, 4 trillion plus, if necessary, that lays out how we go forward. we do it, david, in a way that doesn't turn our backs on the history we have created where we know how to do it without cutting off job creation in our economic future. in the 1990s, we balanced the budget. we did it without a constitutional amendment. we balanced the budget, created
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22,000 new jobs. that changed when we went into credit card debt, two wars, two tax cuts. we couldn't afford them. boom! 6.some trillion in debt. obama was largely in response to george bush and hank paulson asking us to bail out the financial structure of america. we have to get real about what the problem is. the second piece of this, senator box eer has a great dea. if we do it, we will save 600 more jobs than what the house is setting out to do. three, we need to pass the infrastructure, which is bipartisan. we have introduced this with lindsey graham of south carolina and mark warner of virginia.
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we have $2.2 trillion of infrastructure deficit in america. china is putting 9% of gdp into infrastructure. the united states of america is putting 2% or less into it. we have $80 billion of loss every year just to bail out just the grid problems with our energy structure to highways that are clogged because we don't build a transportation system. we know how to do this. we could have patent reform. there are millions of jobs wrapped up in the beaurocracy of patent reform that isn't moving forward. we could have regulatory reform so we don't take ten years to get business people a decision. there are countless things we can do. yes, we can cut waste. there is waste. we have to be statesmen here. we have to find the happy, middle ground of compromise and common sense.
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i know john mccain is prepared to do it. i would like to see the numbers of the house of representatives do it. that would avoid future confrontation. >> we are going to leave it there. thank you, as always. >> thank you. >> joining us now, senator john mccain. senator mccain, i want to return to the issue about afghanistan in a moment because of the crucial importance. i would like you to respond to your senate colleague on the issue of the downgrade of america's credit rating, which is an important development. he calls it a tea party downgrade. how do you response to that? >> well, i agree there's dysfunction in our system. a lot of it has to do with the failure of the president of the united states to lead. i would remind you, republicans control one-third of the government. the senate and the presidency are controlled by the democrats. the fact is that the president never came forward with a plan.
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i was gratified to hear he had a plan. there was never a specific plan. there was always leading from behind. look, we could have reached an agreement a lot earlier, but the members of the house of representatives had a mandate. had a mandate last november. it was jobs in the economy and spending. for them to agree to tax increases and spending increases was obviously a repeeveduation of the mandate they felt they had from last november. >> senator, you talked -- >> the president has not led. >> you talked about the tea party. you talked about a russian house of representatives and a budget being foolish. there were republicans and democrats saying tea party conservatives were digging in and some used the word hostage. holding it hostage because they would not raise taxes at all.
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it's not just -- you know how washington works. john boehner was dealing, they were coming up with a plan. they couldn't sell it. was it really failed presidential leadership? >> i think it's failed presidential leadership when you don't put forward a plan, a proposal to work off. previous presidents had one when we were in a crisis. talking about hostages, lately the democrats have been calling us terrorists. we need to lower that rhetoric. the fact is, we need to cut the corporate tax rate. we need to fix the tax code. we need to have a moritorium on new federal regulations. there's been thousands of pages of new regulations. by the way, one has been repealed. spilled milk, thank god there's no longer an oil spill. we obviously need to do a lot of things. remember, it was the housing market that triggers this
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crisis. we put liquidity in the financial institutions. obviously, they are doing fine. they are sitting on $1.5 trillion in cash they are not spending. the reality is, the housing market is what triggered the crisis. it's going to be the housing market that recovers. that means to me, go out and buy up people's mortgages as we did in the great depression and give them a mortgage to make the payments. then we will begin to come out of this problem. on the s&p thing, don't shoot the messenger. is there anybody that believes s&p is wrong in their assessment of the situation of this country? >> there are questions about what their rational was. i want to ask you about s&p. one thing you said as a presidential candidate and have been saying for a long time, lawmakers were spending like drunken sailors for years and we are all paying the price. this is the statement from
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speaker boehner. decades of reckless spending cannot be reversed immediately especially when the democrats who run washington remain unwilling to make the tough choices required to put america on solid ground. the american people would not tolerate that and fought for the largest spending cuts possible. do you not see the downgrade as kin to war that should galvanize it rather than politicizing it? >> i do. i believe this special committee or select committee will have added incentive without the president's input. this is strictly congretissiona committee. the elephant in the room is medicare and social security. unless we are ready to reform the entitlements, we are not going to have a long term fix for our physical problems. let's announce to the american
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people we are going to fix the programs that are unsustainable. otherwise, we end up like greece and unable to provide the benefits. >> david walker had a discussion with me this past week which is available on our website. he is skeptical about the road the supercommittee is going to take. this is what he said. >> the deal that was done was very modest. we have to do a lot more. medicare, medicaid, social security and tax reform. we'll see what happens with the special joint committee. i think the tough choices are probably not going to be made until after the 2012 elections. >> after 2012, which includes the question of whether tax increases can and should be part of a deal the supercommittee works on. >> well, there's a fundmental belief many of us have.
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why raise taxes and give the money to the government, which has grown enormously in size or debt went from $10 trillion to $14 trillion. what is the point? we need to take on entitlements and take on a tax code that is fairer. why are people sitting on all this money? they don't know what the next regulation coming down is. they don't know what their future is to invest. a lot of them are going overseas where they are making most of their profits. this select committee, i believe, can really do what we haven't had the courage to do in the past. the difference is between it and any other is it's an up or down vote. i think a lot of us would have the courage to vote for what the most experienced people in congress come up with. >> senator, with a few minutes left, i want to turn to afghanistan. secretary of defense panetta
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asked that we stay the course to fulfill the mission these brave soldiers died for. my question to you is, do you have fear that is your fears of withdrawal of surge forces on a path to come out by the end of 2012 leaving tens of thousands of troops there is too aggressive, too fast to accomplish the mission panetta says we are going to stay on? >> absolutely. the president's decision to withdrawal at the schedule he has outlined, there's no military recommendation. all our military leaders said it increases the risk. why would we want to increase the risk to the lives of our men and women serving? the second problem, david, and it's serious, this continued sanctuary in pakistan, the isi o cooperation and we have to have
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a realization that the present situation in pakistan cannot continue, otherwise it places enormous burdens on our ability to succeed. i believe we have made significant successes. our prayers go to the families of the brave, brave elite that have sacrificed. we have to address the sanction ware situation and the problem the president created. that is that out there, there's the perception of afghanistan and other parts of the world that america is withdrawaling. that can't be good. >> the reallty, we have been at it over a decade now. the problem has been with us. why are we still there? we don't have afghan soldiers to take care of the problem. by the way, we went to afghanistan to defeat the
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taliban, rather al qaeda, which is not active there, we are fighting against an insurgency likely to prevail. >> first of all, on the ten year thing, the fact is we have only had a surge for a couple years now since the president announced it at west point. we have had a very short time. there's no doubt we have had significant success in the southern part of afghanistan. the reason why i worry a lot is i'm not sure we have a sufficient number of troops for a fighting season to gain control in the eastern side of the country. we all know that the taliban cooperated with and assisted al qaeda initially. that's the reason why we went to afghanistan as a result of 9/11. so, there's no doubt in my mind that we would have al qaeda presence and influence in afghanistan and even a return to a base for a tax on the united states of america. also, there's a fundamental
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question, do you want to condemn the afghan people to the rule of the taliban? i think we should try to avoid that as well. >> all right. senator mccain, thank you for your views. >> thanks for having me on. >> coming up, the state of the economy. the unprecedented downgrade of the u.s. credit rating and a volatile week on wall street fears we may be facing another recession. we'll have opinions from alan greenspan and austan goolsbee and how the economy will play on the race for the white house. with us rachel maddow and alex castellanos. it's coming up after the break. i have astigmatism. so my old contact lenses would sometimes move out of place and blur my vision. my eye doctor said there's great news for people with astigmatism. acuvue® oasys for astigmatism. he said it's the only lens of its kind
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we are back with our round
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table. joining me now, host of "rachel maddow show" rachel maddow, alan greenspan and austan goolsbee. chairman greenspan, the markets tomorrow, how are they going to view this downgrade of america's credit rating? >> it's difficult to say. the only test we have at the moment is the israeli market, which is open today. it has tanked. the problem i have with that, however, there are real significant protests in israel at the moment. i can't tell what it is. considering the momentum the market went down over the last week, it's unlikely, if history is any guide, that this isn't going to take awhile to bottom out. the initial reaction is going to
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be negative. >> are u.s. treasury bonds safe to invest in? >> i think so. this is not an issue of credit rating. the yits can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. there is zero probability of default. what i think the s&p did was to hit a nerve that is something basically bad is going on. it's hit the self-esteem of the united states. it's having a much profounder effect that icon se conceived c happen. the economics is very clear. you cannot see any way we can go as we did on friday for a vast movement at international times. very low interest rates, then turn on a dime. it is not going to happen.
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this is not the iss that they make it. >> austan goolsbee, you heard john mccain say don't shoot the messenger. the white house has been doing that. in a details taking down of why the s&p downgraded the united states. make the case. >> they made a $2 trillion math error and forget to check their work. the rating agencies that didn't make a math error reaffirmed the aaa status. you saw warren buffett say if they had aaaa status, he would put the united states there. with s&p downgrade based on let's say questionable mathematics is the root of why the treasury was saying that. in this case, if you get away from was there a mistake in what they did, the broader point being, we went through where members of the government stood
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up saying maybe it would be okay if the u.s. government defaulted. it's a deeply unsettling moment. i think that calls on us to maybe do some of the bipartisan things. you saw senator kerry talking an infrastructure or free trade agreements or things where there's bipartisan agreement that we could show the world that is not complete dysfunction in washington. this debt ceiling debate made some people nervous. >> before i widen out the discussion to the whole table, mr. greenspan, time for a double dip is the question and whether we are bracing for a double dip recession. is that where we are headed? >> depends on europe, not the united states. the united states was actually doing relatively well, sluggish, but going forward until italy ran into trouble. that destabilized the european
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system and the crisis reemerged. europe is very critical to the united states. not only do we have a fourth of our exports there, but more importantly, significant foreign affiliate profits, in fact half of u.s. corporations are in europe. that has been a very important driving force in the overall earnings of u.s. corporations and therefore stock market rise, which has been the most important driver of economic activity in the united states. when italy showed signs of weakness and selling bonds, the yield is now over 6%, an unsustainable level. it created a massive problem in europe because italy is a very large country, cannot be easy bailed out and cannot be bailed
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out. it's what's causing our problems. >> this is a wider discussion. rachel maddow, it does get back to political dysfunction because if americans are wondering where are the jobs, the bigger question is where is the economic growth. like my kids, i like cartoons. this is one i saw. the easy part, it shows where the party is jumping over the debt ceiling. if anybody thought that was easy, the hard part is the job growth. goolsbee projected growth that was wildly off the mark this year. >> we didn't know how bad the recession was. we know the hole we have been digging out of is deeper than we thought. the question is whether or not the stock market dropping 500 points in a day and as much as it did in two weeks, the downgrade is going to be a wake-up call. what is feasible in washington. the downgrade message, whatever
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you think of s&p, they mentioned the need for increased revenues and revenues being on the table three separate times. they indicted the republican party right now in washington. it's a question about whether or not there will be a change in fashion and whether or not it will be a wake-up call that the parties need to work together rather than the republicans fashion right now, which is any deal is a bad deal. >> alal ex? >> where to begin. i don't think the republicans think any deal is a bad deal. when you look at the ratings, these republicans in congress are saying how can you grow an economy when you have to service this growing debt? they put their foot down on that. the problem is not republican intransigence, the problem is balance. we have balance.
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we have republican. that's why we got nothing done. >> s&p says the downgrade was motivated by the debate of raising the debt ceiling. that's why they say they downgraded us, not because there's too much debt but rather washington is not working. we did something insane with getting that close to defaulting on purpose. >> the other question is what paul krugman writes about. not only are vast numbers of americans unemployed or under employed, they are facing the prospect of -- why shuld we be surprised? where was growth supposed to come from? consumers aren't ready to spend. businesses see no reason to expand. thanks to the deficit obsession, which is what rachel is getting
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at, government could and should be supporting the economy in a time of need has been pulling back. >> it could be, if we go too far in that direction in the immediate term. it's taken the focus of where it should be. it's got to be about growth. the depth of the recession and the nature of it, that it's coming out of a bubble, we can't go back to what we were doing, it's hard to get out of. where the growth must come from is business investment, exports, innovation, small business. it can't be just going back to building residential houses and consuming more than we are earning, which were the drivers of growth before. what we saw, until the growth started slowing down, we were making progress. we were growing at a moderate rate. you were seeing balanced growth and we added more than 2 million
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jobs. when the growth slows down because of europe, gas prices, japan, the job engine stalls and now, i think, there is a danger that if we keep saying the number one thing we have to talk about is all about the short-run deficit, we are losing sight of the fact we have to reignite the engine of job growth. it doesn't have to be just the government driving it, but the government has to get the private sector stood up. >> the question is how, chairman greenspan. jaime diamond said this publicly, the ceo of jp morgan. he said look, there's a cumulative effect to what this administration has done to remedy the excesses of the financial system that rumted in collapse. that cumulative effect of regulation and capital requirements and all the rest may be depressing economic
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growth by keeping organizations from making the investments that are crucial. what do you say? >> the evidence is strong. that is correct evaluation. one thing we have never discussed, how do we get what is now really an excess of $500 billion in liquid assets held in nonfinancial corporations in the united states. largely, it's a result that they could not find profitable opportunities to invest in. they put it in cash and liquid assets. how do you create a degree of certainty about the long-term future that would endeuce the people who hold the liquid assets to invest them in long-term assets because this is the only source of expansion, which is very large, in which debt is not relevant. you don't need to borrow.
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all you have to do is pull those funds, which is sitting there so they don't know where else to profitably invest mthem. if we can get that going. >> the president has a press conference outside the white house and says corporate america, the wealthy, i'm coming after you. i'm coming after you with higher taxes. i still think i was right. what does that do if you are out there, if you are an investor, if you are corporate america? you are going to sit on that $2 trillion worth of cash because you don't know if you need it tomorrow on top of the uncertainty of a health care bill and on top of not knowing if you are going into a double dip recession. >> i want rachel to respond to this. there
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a democrat pension for spending. the president's leadership through all this, he called it a clarity gap. obama suffered from a clarity gap. they are not sure what he is going to fight for. he fleeds to plant a flag somewhere. i don't care what color is it. planting a flag and lowering it is no way to inspire confidence. he said any deal had to be balanced, it had to include tax revenue. in the face of republican opposition, he backed off even that one demand. the reality is, and i talk to house democrats who say we are the enablers here. republicans won the debate and they won the negotiation. here we are. >> the debate in washington, the difference between the two parties are whether or not there are negotiations. who they are going to appoint to the super committee.
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the republicans are saying there will be no negotiations over revenues. no negotiations over fiscal policies. the democrats position is not on one policy. we would like to talk, negotiate and compromise. i'm a liberal and that's upsetting. i want them drawing red lines but they won't. the republicans are saying no negotiations, our way or diz astzer. that's the difference between the parties. >> look at the approval of congress. one of our producers asked me in a question that made me laugh, then i realized it's not so funny. what happens when it's 100% disapproval. >> there was a question on a survey a couple years ago, if you could get rid of everybody, both parties, would you? it was like 70%. >> where is the political will to engage on tough choices that
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both sides wanted to avoid. republicans wants to avoid tax increases. the president wanted to get away from tough choices on entitlements and social security. >> we have intransigent differences on how to grow the economy. republicans are not against more revenue, they think they have a better way of producing them. >> all revenues -- >> the way to grow revenues that john f. kennedy did it, bill clinton and george bush. when you cut taxes you grow the economy. >> come on. revenues is a word for taxes. >> when you have top 2,000 corporations in america paying 70% of the corporate tax load, you have a competitive decision
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globally. >> the republicans -- >> go ahead. >> the thing that's distressing about this discussion. there are 100 things the parties in washington disagree on. but before we got into the debt ceiling debate, there were at least a handful of important things they could agree on. the free trade agreement and bipartisan. we could look at extending the payroll tax cut for 150 million workers. we could change the patent reform. let's do those things. even with the jobs numbers coming in better than expected on friday, it's still a wake-up call. it's not a good report. if this was six months ago when we were growing, we would have said it wasn't that impressive. we have to get back to that. if we could at least show that washington could do something, they could agree on something, i guess i just keep asking, for the sake of the economy, can we wait on the things we are going
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to yell at each other about? >> this is the problem, you have a potential default and yet what does the congress do and the administration? you create another supercommittee. 17 months after the commission and theecommendations that were tough were not acted on. >> they eventually will be. there's going to be a solution to this. the great irony and sadness about this process is that the bowles-simpson recommendation is the final result. there's another issue here. with all this bickering going on, the economy is slowing down. you can see it in all the data. i don't see a double dip, but i see it slowing down. this deficit problem that is out there is much larger than we calculated. the actual numbers employed by those calculating the deficits
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are based on a level of economic activity. >> if we are going to be aggressive about deficit reduction, there are questions about how aggressive we are going to be, even if we are, does that get through? or is government in a position where it should be doing more and can't because of the politics? >> first of all, there's a general view that we are somehow going to solve the problem without paying. there's no conceivable scenario. cutting back on government spending will cause some contraction in economic activity. according to the imf, who has done a considerable number of evaluations, they conclude that increases in taxes do curtail economic activity. so do expenditure cuts, but
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significantly less. >> you have republican candidates in this field piling on when it comes to the downgrade. they want to make it the president's downgrade of the credit rating. this is more ammunition, in their point of view. >> if i were advising them, i would say don't do that. big problems give them the opportunity to be a big leader. this is the time to get everybody around the table. we may have differences on how we achieve this. now, we need a plan for growth. they ought to be right now with the strategy. that's what's going to get us out. >> who is the front-runner right now? mitt romney. he couldn't have been farther away from what happened in congress over the debt ceiling debate. in the end, he says i'm against the debt ceiling deficit. >> after the battle is over and shooting the wounded, i don't think it's productive. smk greenspan said is important.
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he said it's not going to be without pay. alcohol, drugs and government spending, it feels good at first. when you stop, it feels less good. republicans are saying take the pain now. don't pass it on to the next generation. that's why they are being so firm. >> i disagree with that view. >> to the extent that we are taking the s&p downgrade as a serious thing. we believe they have the credibility to have done think, hone honestly, we should talk about the aaa ratings to reach the doorbell and ask. they do not have the most credibility on this. if we are going to take them seriously, take them on their word. they said they did this on brinksmanship. they said they did it because of republicans holding the debt ceiling. >> what is a rating?
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a rating is an estimate of the probability of default. the probability of default on debt is zero. we have just gone through and experienced that anybody looking at it has to say whoa, maybe somebody might default if we go to the edge. >> let me get in here. i want to take a break. when we come back, i want to talk about the debate over afghanistan. the tragic loss of our soldiers this weekend. we'll look at the take aways and what ugh, my feet are killin' me. well, we're here to get you custom orthotic inserts. dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic center recommends the custom-fit orthotic that's best for your tired feet. foot-care scientists are behind it. you'll get all-day relief. for your tired achy feet. for locations, see drscholls.com. thank you... with other top companies. with an esurance quote, you know you're getting a great deal. you can thank our tech team for that. sure, i'll let them know. bye-bye.
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our final moments now with the round table. the political stories we are following today, we'll put on the screen for you. washington anger over the credit rating. rick perry and the prayer rally he had. quickly, is rick perry someone to give mitt romney a run for his money? >> he has challenges. people think he's a coffee table book, sarah palin with a skirt,
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not a substantive candidate. republicans don't think that governors and governments create them. they think businessmen do. he echoes the last campaign, which i think we lost, which was obama ran against george bush in many ways perry is a lighter copy. >> rachel maddow, the conversation going on on twitter online this morning has to do with this debate over afghanistan after the loss of our soldiers. the real question is what will it take for the war in afghanistan to be part of the 2012 election conversation? the irony is, despite the stakes, neither party wants it there. the democrats don't want it unless they are talking how to get out. >> the president is slightly to the right on this. the question is whether or not the u.s. presence in afghanistan does harm to al qaeda. whether or not leaving now poses
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a challenge to afghan's governmt. democrats would vote unanimously to speed up the withdrawal. the president would decent from that. the republicans are split on this issue. i don't think any presidential candidate other than jon huntsman wants the debate about this. >> we talked to john kerry earlier on the program. he reacted this way. >> the tea party downgrade because a minority of people in the house of republican zentives countered the will of many republicans who were prepared to do a bigger deal, $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and reforms in social security, medicare and medicaid and recognize we needed to do revenue. >> alan greenspan, 15 seconds. what is the prospect they get to the issues they get to?
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>> very long. it's going to require one person among the 12 to switch positions that their party has held very strongly. >> we don't know who the 12 are yet. it's a question of who gets on there. thank you all very much. before we go, a special edition of "dateline" premiers, "the road back." it's tonight, 7:00 p.m. eastern on nbc. next sunday, we are live from the state of iowa. the straw poll as the "meet the press" candidate series continues. i will interview michele bachmann and complete analysis of the results. it's from iowa next sunday. check your local listings. our thoughts and prayers are my contacts are so annoying. they're itchy, dry and uncomfortable. i can't wait to take 'em out, throw 'em away and never see them again.
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